Nothing like a long, wintry weekend to scour maps, research reports and dream up rides. After hours and hours of riding remote roads through my mind, I eventually wind back to the Cloud Peak 500, an increasingly real ride for me in 2020. I pull out maps and notes for a closer look at the planned roads, distances, elevation gains, water sources, food re-supplies, and camping options. Soon, I realize that I need a better map.
Oh, the Cloud Peak 500 blog post announcing the route (Cloud Peak 500) includes a nice gpx file of the entire route (Cloud Peak 500 gpx). In fact, I use that digital map to create a set of cue sheets. For a hard copy map, I start with a venerable USFS map of Bighorn National Forest. However, the Cloud Peak 500 swings pretty far south of the Bighorn National Forest through public lands managed primarily by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and then ventures east through privately owned prairie. Overall, more miles of the Cloud Peak 500 lay outside the boundaries of Bighorn National Forest than inside.
Time for a trip to Roam'n Around, a local outdoors outfitter offering a wide selection of maps and guide books. Sure enough, they stock a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer of Wyoming. Perfect. With all the detail and color codes, I decide to cut out the appropriate pages and just mark them up. Here they are, so far.
6 sheets of maps + 1 set of cue sheets + 1 compass + attentive analysis = my Cloud Peak 500 navigation system.
That's my way.
|Page 2 (miles 85-165). Drops to Shell and on to the Dinosaur Tracks.|
The detour to Medicine Wheel starts at about Mile 108.
|Page 4 (miles 200-205). Just a short jaunt onto this sheet to visit Hyattville.|
|Page 5 (miles 285-320). Many river and drainage crossings, including the Middle Fork Powder River,|
which features a BLM primitive campground. Closing in on The Hole In The Wall.
|Page 6 (miles 320-355). A back road access to The Hole In The Wall and up to Kaycee.|
|Here's a big picture look at the Cloud Peak 500, from cloudpeak500,blogspot.com.|